It’s March 17th 7:30pm in the greenroom backstage at Heinz Hall.
This is an unusual week in that Robert Spano canceled due to illness.
In his place Andrés Cárdenes, our concertmaster, will conduct the
orchestra in a program of Debussy, Mozart and Dvorak.
This concert will highlight Principals and Co-Principals. If you look
at the very middle of the orchestra you will note six core positions
i.e. the principal winds. Damien Bursill-Hall (Co-Principal flute), James Gorton (Co-Principal oboe), Nancy Goeres (Principal bassoon), Michael Rusinek (Principal clarinet), Harold Smoliar (Principal English Horn) and Zachary Smith (Assistant Principal Horn) will play in the Petite Suite by Debussy; and Demarre McGill (Acting Principal flute), Cynthia DeAlmeida (Principal oboe), David Sogg (Co-Principal bassoon), Thomas Thompson (Co-Principal clarinet) and William Caballero
(Principal Horn) will play the Dvorak, giving you the audience a good
chance to hear and compare each of these musicians in the solo passages
these works provide.
All of these wonderful musicians are as talented as any woodwinds in
any orchestra throughout the world but the fact that we have strong
players throughout the sections gives us scope and depth. All this plus
a concertmaster that can fill in and conduct a major concert on short
notice makes the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra a special ensemble.
Since the musical selections were changed this week I did some
research and found that Debussy composed mostly at night, issuing forth
for his constitutional during the afternoon, a striking figure,
black-bearded, carrying a walking stick to ward off his pet hates –
crying children, ugly people and cats. Dvorak was born in Bohemia, the
son of an innkeeper. On his travels he discovered Spillville, Iowa, a
village of transplanted Bohemians, and went there to write his “New
World Symphony”. Mozart’s Requiem Mass was commissioned by a stranger
whose mysterious manner convinced Amadeus that he was a visitant from